A Prayer for Sunday (Boethius)

Christian philosophy, boethiusAnicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, now that’s a name. It’s a little long for my taste, but a middle name like “Manlius” would be pretty cool.

Boethius was a Christian philosopher who lived during the time when the Roman empire in the west was crumbling, the Ostrogoths had taken control of Rome, and the Church was struggling to navigate these difficult waters. Born into a prominent Roman family, Boethius and his sons served the new Ostrogothic emperor, until the emperor imprisoned Boethius for allegedly conspiring with the eastern Roman emperor in Constantinople. While in prison, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, one of the most influential works of the early middle ages.

After a short time in prison, Boethius was executed. Though the exact date of his death is unknown, his feast day is traditionally celebrated on October 23. So, in his honor, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

The True Sun

Homer with mellifluous tongue
Phœbus’ glorious light hath sung,
Hymning high his praise;
Yet his feeble rays
Ocean’s hollows may not brighten,
Nor earth’s central gloom enlighten.
.
But the might of Him, who skilled
This great universe to build,
Is not thus confined;
Not earth’s solid rind,
Nor night’s blackest canopy,
Baffle His all-seeing eye.
.
All that is, hath been, shall be,
In one glance’s compass, He
Limitless descries;
And, save His, no eyes
All the world survey—no, none!
Him, then, truly name the Sun.

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